Saturday, February 27, 2010

Watching Hilo Bay Churn - Tsunami Tsaturday

6 a.m. and the sirens went off, as they did every hour until 10, then 10:30 and 11:00. We'd seen the earthquake reports the night before, so we knew what it was. A tense, though fairly normal early morning, then watching the news starting about 10. Over the next several hours Hilo Bay churned as water flowed in and out. After about 11:15, the news readers on KGMB ran out of things to say, so it was just Guy Hagi looking at the same pictures we were seeing and saying the same things we were saying.

Stephanie Lum said that their "jaws were literally on the floor" about something or other, and we had a good laugh about that. Later she said that Waikiki was "literally a ghost town" and we had another laugh. The water flowing in Hilo Harbor was cool to watch, but being jaded by Hollywood, I was hoping for a huge wave to cover Coconut Island, breaking right on top of it with a tremendous roar and destroying those two buildings, ideally with an explosion of some kind, but it was not to be.

Finally, about 12:30, it became clear that the show was over, so I went to Keauhou Shopping Center to get the mail. The Center was packed. No parking places, cars double parked, and people everywhere, sleeping or resting amid the landscaping, eating take-out food, or just standing around aimlessly. Almost all of them seemed to be tourists, I assumed, from the condos makai of the center.

Later I walked at Honokohau. The ocean seemed to be doing a gentle version of the surge-and-recede seen in Hilo Bay, but I couldn't really be sure. I did get a picture of two other residents avoiding the churning water:

We should be grateful that today proved to be nothing more than what it was. It could have been a lot worse.

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